The all limiting, all encompassing liberty amendment. It is the one amendment that has the power to tear down a leviathan and return freedom to the states and people.
But what was the purpose of explicitly limiting the powers of a federal government to those documented in the Constitution, and no others?
Here is a great History Lesson from the Tenth Amendment Center:
Throughout the period of the Continental and Confederation Congresses (1776-1788), advocates of a strong central government argued that, in addition to whatever express powers Congress had received from the states, Congress also enjoyed additional “inherent sovereign authority.” This theory would allow Congress to exercise many powers not on the list granted by the Articles of Confederation.
During this period, the “inherent sovereign authority” argument was made by John Adams, Benjamin Rush, Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and the Hartford Convention of 1780. They argued that Congress necessarily had inherent sovereign authority because it was America’s agent for foreign affairs. They sometimes argued that the British Crown conveyed inherent sovereign authority to Congress by the 1783 peace treaty recognizing independence.
The best-known exposition of inherent sovereign authority appeared in James Wilson’s Considerations on the Bank of North America. Wilson’s purpose in composing this paper was to justify Congress’s decision to charter a national bank, even though the Articles of Confederation had given Congress no such power.
Opponents of the Constitution admitted that the Constitution enumerated federal powers, but they feared that Wilson & Company might raise the same “inherent sovereign authority” claim again. Accordingly, most of the states demanded a constitutional amendment explicitly limiting the federal government to those enumerated in the Constitution. That amendment became the Tenth.
What is particularly surprising in light of this history and the Tenth Amendment’s explicit wording, is that some people still argued that the federal government had a vast reservoir of “inherent sovereign authority.”
The subject came up in a 1907 case (Kansas v. Colorado), but the Supreme Court rejected the idea, citing the Tenth Amendment. But the Court used the theory in a 1936 (U.S. v. Curtiss-Wright) to justify federal foreign affairs powers. And a majority of the court seems to have endorsed it in a 2004 case (U.S. v. Lara) explaining federal power over the Indian tribes.
But as a matter of history and constitutional text, there is no real doubt that the Tenth Amendment rendered the theory of “implied sovereign authority” completely illegitimate.
If this is the case, and the argument of "implied sovereign authority" is moot, then the President of the United States and the members of Congress have no authority to dictate banking and housing bailouts, mandatory healthcare, cash for clunkers, or any other "program" that excessively burdens my explicit right of life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness... and therefore the actions of the Federal Government are in violation of the contract between the Federal Government and the People, commonly known as being Un-Constitutional.
Of course, the US Government operates under the premise of "Sovereign Immunity" which means that unless they explicitly waive their immunity, explicitly allowing a suit to be taken, then a citizen cannot take suit against the Government.
The federal government has become an authoritarian dictatorial body, with no means for checks and balances accountable to the people. Elections are hardly tools for change, rather merely opinions of the consumers. No real element of change comes, especially in the way of returning the Federal Government to its Constitutional bounds.
So I pose a question, what power is left to the citizen, aside from petitioning the state for redress of grievances?